ADOur weekly two hour show on SIRIUS/XMU, channel 35, can now be heard twice, every Friday – Noon EST with an encore broadcast at Midnight EST.

SIRIUS 459: Jean Michel Bernard – Générique Stephane ++ Deerhunter – Ad Astra ++ Gary Numan – Are Friends Electric? ++ Deerhunter – Snakeskin ++ Deerhunter – Dr. Glass ++ Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Into My Arms ++ The Feelies – Crazy Rhythms ++ Josef K – Drone ++ Fire Engines – Meat Whiplash ++ Ought – Beautiful Blue Sky ++ The Fall – What You Need ++ The Clash – The Call Up ++ Women – Shaking Hand ++ Viet Cong – Static Wall ++ Women – Eyesore ++ Ought – Money Changes Everything (AD Session) ++ Harlem – Goodbye Horses ++ Sonic Youth – Winner’s Blues ++ Wire – Used To ++ Spiritualized – Cool Waves ++ Lower Dens – Tea Lights ++ Omni – Wire ++ Vaselines – Slushy ++ The Art Museums – Oh, Modern Girls ++ Whitney – No Matter Where We Go ++ Ultimate Painting – Talking Central Park Blues ++ Parquet Courts – Careers In Combat ++ Pavement – Jackals, False Grails – The Lonesome Era ++ Pavement – Fight This Generation ++ The Orwells – Head ++ Blur – On The Way To The Club ++ Blur – Mellow Song ++ Blur – Tender

*Listen for free, online, with the SIRIUS three day trial — just submit an email address and they will send you a password.
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A week from tonight, December 8th, AD presents Muuy Biien at the Satellite in LA with Green Gerry and Sons of the Bitch. Tickets: HERE.

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Country charm downer via Mazzy Star’s oft-overlooked 1996 lp, Among My Swan – the third and final chapter of the band’s singular ‘90s run. While the record itself does not stray far from the gentle, twinkling shoegaze and desert highway blues of the band’s first two records, “I’ve Been Let Down” works as a gorgeous and infectious outlier of forlorn freight train blues. Lightly accompanied by acoustic guitar, harmonica, and an ever so subtle drum beat, Hope Sandoval sings of a stubborn resilience to heartbreak. Some of her most evocative lyrics committed to tape illuminate the unknown caverns unto which she plunges. Here, Sandoval’s greatest gifts – her hushed, delicate vocals and poignant expression of the human condition – are in full force. words / c depasquale

Mazzy Star :: I’ve Been Let Down

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In Frank Zappa lore, 1972 is often shortchanged. The year before he toured with Flo and Eddie, witnessed a venue in Montreux burn to the ground during a gig, and closed out the year by being pushed off a London stage. In 1973 he enlisted George Duke, Napoleon Murphy Brock and Ruth Underwood to record his highest-grossing album, toured the world and shot a concert film at LA’s Roxy nightclub.

But what of 1972 itself? It was a typically busy for Zappa: he released two records and worked on a few more, toured across Europe and North America with two different bands and recorded three live albums. But for decades most of this work remained commercially unknown. Aside from a handful of bootlegs there was scarce documentation of these live shows, just chatter about how they were unlike anything he’d done before – or would do after. Horn-drenched arrangements, long blues-based jams…songs he’d debut on this tour, never to play again.

Though in recent years that has changed. About a decade ago the Zappa Family Trust released Imaginary Diseases, a snapshot of this so-called Petit Wazoo Orchestra. And now, earlier this month, UME and the ZFT issued Little Dots, something of a sequel to Diseases. Like its predecessor, the material on Dots is culled from several dates throughout the tour focusing on loose, bluesy jams which is something this group did a lot and did well. With a horn section including Bruce Fowler and Malcolm McNab and a rhythm section featuring Jim Gordon and Dave Parlato, the group goes off in all directions. “Rollo,” for example, begins as an orchestrated march morphing into a loose, funky groove.

But the set’s real treat is when the ten-piece band stretches out on Zappa’s open-ended compositions. The first half of “Little Dots” opens with an orchestrated section before everything drops away for an extended bass and drum jam, with Zappa moving in for a lengthy guitar solo. While his playing on this may not be at the same level as it would get later in the decade, it’s more adventurous than anything he committed to a studio record around this time.

Frank Zappa :: Cosmik Debris

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Over forty years in the game and Pere Ubu is still a work in progress. When Aquarium Drunkard spoke with founding member David Thomas this past week, that much was clear. “I work ten years ahead of time,” Thomas says at one point during our talk, which is why it’s surprising, on some level, to see Pere Ubu out on the road to promote two recent retrospective box sets: Elitism For The People: 1975-1978 and Architecture Of Language: 1979-1982. They’ll be hitting the West Coast of the U.S. with shows starting December 2nd and a December 9th stop at The Echo in Los Angeles, all featuring music solely from the two collected sets. Why would a band still focused on its next artistic statement spend time in its past? Thomas spoke about that as well as his finely honed compartmentalizing, baseball as a metaphor for loners in art, how culture doesn’t exist, and his humbleness before an irrelevant audience. Trust us. You’ll want to dig into this.

Aquarium Drunkard: Pere Ubu is getting set to do the West Coast leg of its Coed Jail! tour promoting the two new box sets. What was the logic behind the grouping of the box sets? [The first contains early singles through Dub Housing, the second New Picnic Time through Song of the Bailing Man and other material.] The personnel was different between the sets of years…was there another logic behind breaking the albums into those groups?

David Thomas: Well, because they were two distinct groups. I’m not really sure how to explain it any simpler than that. It was never desirable to release all the box sets as one 30 album package. That was never going to happen. You have to divide things up. So I decided to divide them up according to – I don’t know how to explain it. They’re linked albums. The first box set is Hearpen [Records singles], The Modern Dance and Dub Housing – that was all one thematic line for the band. At the end of Dub Housing it’s generally accepted that we were off on the next adventure, you know, the next theme, the next project. That encompassed New Picinic Time through to …Bailing Man.

All the boxes are thematically linked. I’ve often been asked ‘is this a conceptual album?’ And I say ‘no, our entire damn career is a conceptual career.’ I work ten years ahead of time; I work to a plan. It used to be a five year plan and it soon developed into a ten year plan because things got more ambitious. The next box is from Ray Gun Suitcase through to St. Arkansas. Those three albums were conceived – for want of a better word – as a trilogy. I determined I was going to write the great American novel and that’s what that was. The next set of boxes is also thematically linked together and the Fontana box [albums released during the band’s tenure on Fontana records] – which the rights have been secured for release, so it’s beginning to be put together and all that nonsense – that, too, is inextricably linked. They’re a package.

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We may be used to seeing Raymond Pettibon’s unmistakeable artwork on SST albums from the 1980s, but Rob Noyes’ debut — an absorbing guitar soli gem — is a world away from Black Flag. Not that it’s lacking in intensity. At times, Noyes’ dextrous 12-string clusters develop into dense thickets of ringing sound; it’s a beautiful, heady space to get lost in. And yeah, occasionally kind of intense! Over the course The Feudal Spirit‘s 10 (mostly 12-string) tracks, the guitarist easily shifts from earthy, familiar folk-blues moves to dizzyingly celestial flights. Sometimes these shifts happen within the same song — check out “Oni,” which kicks off in easygoing fingerpicking fashion, but soon finds itself rambling into unknown territory. Delightful. The Massachusetts-based Noyes came to my attention via Glenn Jones, the reigning king of the Takoma School scene. So don’t take my word for it: if Glenn says it’s good, it’s going to be good. The Feudal Spirit is being pressed up by the Poon Village label in an all-too limited edition of 330, so grab yours before its gone. words / t wilcox

Rob Noyes :: Oni

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Recently, Portland-based composers Shawn Parke and Kim Henninger released the original soundtrack for Embers, director Claire Carré’s science fiction film starring Jason Ritter, Iva Gocheva, and Greta Fernández.  Currently streaming on Netflix, the film makes masterful use of the duo’s compositions, utilizing their enveloping sound as it explores the concept of “memory.”

Aquarium Drunkard asked the duo to run down some of their cinematic music inspirations, and rather than a mere list of likeminded composers, the duo took the opportunity to deeply probe the methods and techniques that inform their work.

In February of 2014 writer/director Claire Carré and writer/producer Charles Spano asked us to write the original score for their first feature Embers. The science fiction film is about memory and forgetting and asks big questions: What role does memory play in who we are? Is there sometimes redemption in forgetting? What do we lose or gain if the collective cataloging of culture disappears? Who are we if stripped of everything but our instincts?

We began work on the score before a frame had been shot – and these questions informed our work. When we were asked to reflect on soundtracks that had inspired and influenced our work we were, at first, taken aback. We had no particular past works in mind as we proceeded through the process of writing the experimental/orchestral score. After giving it some thought it became clear to us that a number of scores — and more so the techniques employed in their creation — had woven themselves into our unconscious as we created the music we wrote. The soundtracks and techniques below were woven into our process of creation without us being aware of it – much as the score for Embers weaves itself into the very fabric of the film.

Kimberly Henninger & Shawn Parke :: Now Is Now

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Our weekly two hour show on SIRIUS/XMU, channel 35, can be heard twice every Friday – Noon EST with an encore broadcast at Midnight EST.

SIRIUS 458: The Rock*A*Teens – Don’t Destroy This Night ++ The Dirty Three – Great Waves ++ Richard Buckner – Blue And Wonder ++ Kamikaze Hearts – Defender ++ Amen Dunes – Green Eyes ++ Mr. Airplane Man – Jesus On The Mainline (Traditional) ++ Cat Power – Cross Bones Style ++ The Breeders – Metal Man ++ Bill Callahan – Drover ++ Case Studies – Secrets ++ Bonnie “Prince” Billy – My Home Is The Sea ++ Loose Fur – Answers To Your Questions ++ Angel Olsen – The Sky Opened Up ++ Sixteen Horsepower – Horse Head Fiddle ++ Brightblack Morning Light – True Bright Blossom ++ Howlin Rain – In Sand And Dirt ++ Heron Oblivion – Beneath Fields ++ Neil Young – Will To Love ++ Jose Gonzalez – Suggestions ++ Ryley Walker – Everybody Is Crazy  (Aquarium Drunkard Session) ++ Michael Kiwanuka – Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye (Leonard Cohen) ++ Steve Gunn – Water Wheel ++ Phil Cook – The Jensens ++ Yo La Tengo – Leaving Home ++ Vic Chesnutt – Degenrate ++ Devendra Banhart – Sligo River Blues (John Fahey) ++ The Staple Singers – This May Be My Last Time ++ Mikael Tariverdiev – Summer Blues ++ The Rolling Stones – Play With Fire ++ Lala Schifrin – Cool Hand Luke (Main Title)

*You can listen, for free, online with the SIRIUS three day trial — just submit an email address and they will send you a password.
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In addition to his website American Standard Time, Greg Vandy is the host of the long-running roots radio program The Roadhouse, on KEXP. Based in Seattle, Vandy spent the better part of two years researching Woody Guthrie’s tenure in 1941 with Oregon’s Bonneville Power Administration. In short, Guthrie was employed to promote the benefits of cheap hydroelectric power, irrigation, and the Grand Coulee Dam. While under their hire he penned 26 songs in 30 days. The fruits Vandy’s labor were published earlier this year via Sasquatch Books as 26 Songs In 30 Days: Columbia River Songs and the Planned Promised Land in the Pacific Northwest.

The following mix is a deconstructed version of a three-hour Roadhouse show. Here, Vandy’s mix tells the story of Woody Guthrie from Dust Bowl balladeer to commissioned songwriter for the Bonneville Power Administration. It includes bits and pieces of audio culled from his book research and many of Guthrie’s best songs, both by him and his many disciples. It was a different kind of Populism in the 1930’s, one in which Woody and his fellow travelers would create America’s first folk revival in response to hard times. “All You Can Write Is What You See” . . .

A Woody Guthrie Companion (A Mixtape)

playlist / provenance after the jump . . .